Switching Oxygen On and Off


June 2017 Newsletter

Switching Oxygen On and Off

Switching Oxygen On and Off


From the Austrian Universities of Technology, March 14, 2017: “At the Vienna University of Technology (TU Vien), it is now possible to selectively switch individual oxygen molecules sitting on a titanium oxide surface between a non-reactive to a reactive state using a special force microscope. This process was viewed for the first time in high-resolution images. A tiny needle is vibrated and moved across the surface. When the atoms at the very end of the tip come close to the surface, the tip feels a force and the oscillation changes. From this tiny change, one can create an image showing where the atoms are.”


Source:
Austrian Universities of Technology 
Image: TU Wien


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Shaping the Future with Uniform Sized Nanocubes

Shaping the Future with Uniform Sized Nanocubes


From Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (Japan), March 14, 2017 by Sarah Wong: “Nanoparticles can be produced using either physical or chemical methods, though physical methods are advantageous due to the absence of organic contaminants commonly introduced by chemical methods. However, uniformly sized nanocubes are difficult to produce in sufficient quantities by physical methods. Researchers from the Nanoparticles by Design Unit at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University have recently discovered a new approach to overcome this problem.”


Source: Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology
Image: Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology


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Reducing Conducting Thin Film Surface Roughness for Electronics

Reducing Conducting Thin Film Surface Roughness for Electronics


From American Institute of Physics (AIP), March 7, 2017: “As transistor dimensions within integrated circuits continue to shrink, smooth metallic lines are required to interconnect these devices. If the surfaces of these tiny metal lines aren’t smooth enough, it substantially reduces their ability to conduct electrical and thermal energy -- decreasing functionality. A group of engineers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have modeling results that establish electrical surface treatment of conducting thin films as a physical processing method for reducing surface roughness. Surface electromigration is the key physical concept involved. The combined effects of a well-controlled applied electric field and rough surface geometry drive the atoms on the metal surface to move from the hills of the rough surface morphology to the neighboring valleys, which eventually smooth away the rough surfaces.”


Source: AIP Publishing 
Image: Du and Maroudas/AIP Publishing


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Engineers Create Artificial Skin That “Feels” Temperature Changes

Engineers Create Artificial Skin That “Feels” Temperature Changes


From Medical Design Briefs, April 1, 2017, by Caltech: “A team of engineers and scientists at Caltech have developed an artificial skin capable of detecting temperature changes using a mechanism similar to the one used by the organ that allows pit vipers to sense their prey. While fabricating synthetic woods in a petri dish, the team created a material that exhibited an electrical response to temperature changes in the lab. It turned out that the component responsible for the temperature sensitivity was pectin. The team created a thin, transparent flexible film of pectin and water. The new skin can sense changes that are an order of magnitude smaller than existing electronic skins.”


Source: Medical Design Briefs
Image: Caltech


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Saving Energy through Light Control

Saving Energy through Light Control


From Energy Frontiers Research Center, Spring 2017 by Manuel A. Ortuño: “Researchers at the Center for Excitonics (an Energy Frontier Research Center) took advantage of the fundamental properties of molecules to design a material that changes from transparent to opaque (and vice versa) within only a few seconds. The versatile chemical composition and high porosity of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) make them suitable for a broad variety of applications. MOFs are sponge-like, porous materials formed by an extended network of metallic centers (nodes) tied together with organic molecules (linkers). The MOF used in this study resembles a honeycomb as shown in the figure, where the hexagon vertices are nodes and the edges are linkers. With an applied voltage, the MOF transitioned from transparent to opaque and vice versa in only a few seconds.”


Source: Energy Frontiers Research Center
Image: Manuel A. Ortuño/Inorganometallic Catalyst Design Center (ICDC), EFRC


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Jumping Droplets Whisk Away Hotspots in Electronics

Jumping Droplets Whisk Away Hotspots in Electronics


From Duke University, April 3, 2017 by Ken Kingery: “Engineers have developed a technology to cool hotspots in high-performance electronics using the same physical phenomenon that cleans the wings of cicadas. When water droplets merge, the reduction in surface area causes the release of a small amount of energy, So long as the surface beneath is hydrophobic enough to repel water, his energy is sufficient to make the merged droplet jump away. In the new cooling technology created by engineers at Duke University and Intel Corporation, droplets jump toward hotspots to bring cooling where the electronics need it most.”


Source: Duke University
Image: Duke University


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Organic Materials Database

Organic Materials Database


From Dirac Materials (Sweden), March 6, 2017: “Motivated by this new trend in materials informatics, the Condensed Matter research group at Nordita (a joint KTH The Royal Institute of Technology and Stockholm University institution in Stockholm, Sweden) has developed a web database as a source for data mining projects. The database will facilitate the first-principles investigation of organics and the prediction of organic functional materials given their high potential for industrial applications. The Organic Materials Database (OMDB) is an electronic structure database for various organic and organometallic materials, freely accessible via a web interface at http://omdb.diracmaterials.org/. The electronic band structures are calculated using density functional theory that is a standard tool in modern materials science. The OMDB web interface allows users to search for materials with specified target properties using non-trivial queries about their electronic structure, including advanced tools for pattern recognition, chemical and physical properties search.”


Source: Dirac Materials
Image: Dirac Materials


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Nanophotonics Team Expands Palette for Electrochromic Glass

Nanophotonics Team Expands Palette for Electrochromic Glass


From Rice University, March 8, 2017 by Jade Boyd: “Researchers from the laboratory of Rice University plasmonics pioneer Naomi Halas report using a readily available, inexpensive hydrocarbon molecule called perylene to create glass that can turn two different colors at low voltages. When researchers put charges on the molecules or remove charges from them, they go from clear to a vivid color. Laboratory for Nanophotonics’s (LANP) color-changing glass has polarity-dependent colors. This is pretty novel because most color-changing glass has just one color, and the multicolor varieties require significant voltage.”


Source: Rice University
Image: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University


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Researchers Discover New Type of Memory Effect in Transition Metal Oxides

Researchers Discover New Type of Memory Effect in Transition Metal Oxides


From R&D Magazine, March 23, 2017, by Bar-Ilan University (Israel): “Transition metal oxides (TMO) are extensively studied, technologically important materials, due to their complex electronic interactions, resulting in a large variety of collective phenomena. Memory effects in TMO's have garnered a huge amount of interest. Dr. Amos Sharoni of Bar-Ilan University's Department of Physics, and Institute of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials (BINA), has now uncovered a new kind of memory effect. Researchers utilized a simple experimental design to study changes in the properties of two TMOs, VO2 and NdNiO3 , which undergo a metal-insulator phase-transition. In the experiment, when heated the studied TMOs transit from one state to another, and their properties undergo a change, beginning in a small area where "islands" develop and then grow, and vice-versa during cooling.”


Source: R&D Magazine
Image: Bar-Ilan University


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Flexible, Organic and Biodegradable: Researchers Develop a New Wave of Electronics

Flexible, Organic and Biodegradable: Researchers Develop a New Wave of Electronics


From Stanford University, May 1, 2017 by Sarah Derouin: “A new semiconductor developed by Stanford researchers is as flexible as skin and easily degradable. It could have diverse medical and environmental applications, without adding to the mounting pile of global electronic waste. The team created a flexible electronic device that can easily degrade just by adding a weak acid like vinegar. This is the first example of a semiconductive polymer that can decompose. In addition to the polymer the team developed a degradable electronic circuit and a new biodegradable substrate material for mounting the electrical components. This substrate supports the electrical components, flexing and molding to rough and smooth surfaces alike. When the electronic device is no longer needed, the whole thing can biodegrade into nontoxic components.”


Source: Stanford University
Image: Bao Lab/Stanford University


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New Role of Contact Lenses

New Role of Contact Lenses


From Chemical and Engineering News, March 27, 2017 by Melody M. Bomgardner: “Future contact lenses could be designed to arrest the progress of vision problems or interact with the body in new ways using electronics. These efforts are benefiting from innovations in electronics, including miniaturization and transparent conducting materials. But the challenges are immense. Early this month, Novartis Chair Joerg Reinhardt told shareholders that smart lenses are a high-risk project that will require breakthroughs in new materials. Scientists are testing materials such as organic light-emitting diodes, conducting polymers, and graphene for use in contact lenses."


Source: Chemical and Engineering News
Image: Wikimedia Commons


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Penn News

Metallic Atomically-Thin Layered Silicon


From London Centre for Nanotechnology, March 7, 2017: “A new metallic silicon (Si) nanostructure has been discovered by researchers from the London Centre of Nanotechnology (LCN) at University College London, the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST), and the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), USA. Their study shows that a new atomically-thin Si nanostructure with metallic properties can be grown upon the two-dimensional (2D) material silicene on zirconium diboride (ZrB2 ). The new Si nanostructure is found to form an atomically-sharp edge with the 2D silicene sheet and could enable the development of native electrical contacting, an important step to realizing functional devices based upon silicene and other 2D materials.”


Source: London Centre for Nanotechnology
Image: London Centre for Nanotechnology


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SVC Membership

SVC Membership Offers Many Benefits


Join or renew your membership for 2017 now and enjoy the benefits of membership for the entire calendar year. Members enjoy free access to the SVC Digital Library and special discounts for many SVC products and services.


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Semicon West

Smart Starts at SEMICON West


SEMICON West 2017 brings you the future as powered by microelectronics-enabled technologies. It connects the entire extended supply chain from materials, equipment, design, manufacturing, system integration, and demand channels to new verticals and adjacencies such as flexible hybrid electronics, MEMS and sensor, and more. With the assistance of virtual reality and artificial intelligence, you’ll experience advanced technologies and applications like Smart Auto, Smart Manufacturing, Smart MedTech, and IoT. The SEMI/Gartner symposium provides a midyear market update and interactive panel discussion. Visit 1100 exhibitors, partake of 115 hours of programs, and attend the enhanced networking events. July 11-13, San Francisco, CA.

 

Conference Details and Registration   >

 


SVConnections Contributing Editors:
Carl M. Lampert, SVC Technical Director
Joyce Lampert


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